With temperatures dropping below zero over the last few days, it can be difficult to imagine or remember a warm sunny day spent on Lake St. Clair. Thankfully, there is plenty of summer fun at the 57th Annual Detroit Boat Show! This mid-winter tradition brings all things summer and boating to the Cobo Center for nine days of fun in February.
I spent several days at the Detroit Boat Show this week, volunteering at the Lake St. Clair Tourism Initiative booth. The majority of the time, I distributed Circle the Lake tour maps and talked to boaters and show patrons about the top destinations and attractions around Lake St. Clair. It is exciting to discuss the many marinas, restaurants and businesses around the lake, especially since many people, even boaters, are not familiar with all that the lake has to offer! While sitting at the booth, I also witnessed hundreds of boaters reconnect with their friends to reminisce about their time spent boating and fishing on Michigan’s world-renowned lakes and streams. I listened to them begin to plan for the season ahead – which ports to visit and where the best fishing might be.
“Boaters know, there is no reason to leave this great state winter or summer – because with a boat in your driveway, or at a local marina, there is a Pure Michigan experience waiting for you every weekend,” said Show Manager Nicki Polan.
This year, the show is 50,000 square feet larger than in 2014 and features hundreds of boats for fishing, skiing, wakeboarding and cruising. The show also offers plenty of non-motorized boats – kayaks, paddleboards, inflatables and paddleboats. As you walk around the show, you will see there are a variety of exhibits. Some exhibitors are marinas, others are local businesses selling boating accessories and services including motors, dockage, water toys, skiing and wakeboarding gear, boating and fishing accessories, electronics, nautical gifts, artwork and much more!
If you are like me and are sadly not in the market to buy, you should still consider making a trip to Cobo Center this weekend. The Detroit Boat Show is an event for the whole family. The kids will love activities such as Water Rollerz, a boat building center, face painting and the chance to meet a real live mermaid! You can also have a drink and a bite to eat at the tiki bar and just for the fun of it, climb aboard some of the most luxurious cabin cruisers you’ve ever seen! Special features also make this event fun for those just looking to get a taste of summer. At various times throughout the week, you can watch the popular Rail Jam – a live wakeboarding show which takes place in two 50-gallon pools. Additionally, check out the Bat Boat and the Cowboy Boat featured in Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” music video. All ticket holders will be automatically entered to win a stand up paddle board valued at $1,200 and a chance to win $15,000 to use toward a purchase at the 2016 show!
Admission to the Boat Show is $12 for adults; children 12 and under are free with an adult. On Thursday, Feb. 19, tickets are only $6 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Boat Show Hours:
Saturdays: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sundays and Monday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday – Friday: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Parking is available at Cobo Center and surrounding lots.
Amanda Minaudo is an associate planner for the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Department.